I Don’t Have an Autistic Child, I Have a Poppy.

It’s been a while since I posted. It’s been a stressful few months and I think I was waiting for it all to be over before I did my next post. But it isn’t going to be over, it’s just going to be different. Today we received a formal diagnosis for my daughter as being on the Autism Spectrum. I didn’t realize until today that I was more expecting that she would not be found autistic. And not because I don’t believe it, but because I don’t want to believe it. It makes a lot of sense with what we know of my daughter, and even today we had some more eureka moments while talking to the psychologist, and yet I still would rather that she was a “normal” child and it was just me who wasn’t able to cope with motherhood, children, tantrums, being a housewife, and¬†apparently¬†life in general. I would rather that I was diagnosed as insane or manic-depressive and that taking me out of the equation would mean that she would level out. But that’s not what has happened. There is going to be more applications, more therapists and psychologists, more tantrums, a lot more stress and a lot of learning for us as parents. I am going to have to learn to face this and talk about it instead of hiding away and waiting for it to pass. And learn how to explain how it is that my completely charming, beautiful, bright, and inquisitive daughter is almost too much for me to deal with on my own. How do I explain how a request for her to try on a shirt can turn into a terrible ordeal lasting hours that leaves me in tears when I don’t even know how that happens.

But that is the negative side of it. That is all the things I have to bottle up because anytime I try to talk to someone other than the doctors about it I am told that there is nothing to worry about, she is just fine, and it is just over-diagnosis on the part of the doctors. Until today I half-believed them; which meant it was all me. There was something wrong with me. I was insane.

So yes, half of me is relieved.

After the psychologist left and my husband was leaving for work and we were still digesting the new information, I started crying and said “I can’t believe that I have an autistic child.” To which he replied “You can’t think like that. It’s still Poppy. You don’t have an autistic child, you have a Poppy.” And he’s right.